Brace yourselves: it’s going to be a long post.
Since I was a teenager I experienced serious emotional roller-coasters whenever I tried to diet, and since my worst nutritional errors have always been sugar related (cookies, iced tea, ice cream, chocolate, gummies, adding sugar to fruit, etc!), that’s where I cut most heavily. By emotional roller-coasters I mean I could go from crying my heart out, to apathetic, to ravenous mad all within two hours or so, while also experiencing violent cravings. I tried to explain to people that what I felt weren’t simple cravings, but rather a very powerful and borderline crippling demand my mind made for sugary foods, and that no… the cravings didn’t go away after 15 minutes. I could easily go to bed craving cookies and wake up the next day still craving cookies. I heard these revolting answers too many times: “you just lack will power” or “you simply don’t want it badly enough”. To everyone who’s ever said that to anyone here’s what I have for you:
Several researches have come to a similar conclusion: sugar acts on your brain in a manner very similar to drugs of abuse like cocaine. Yes, you read it correctly: cocaine. And that means that symptoms of withdrawal are to be expected, and to those of us who have developed a sugar addiction over the years it will be unbelievably hard to get away from it. I was beyond happy when I came across this information, because FINALLY what I had always experienced had been validated by scientific research.
On the left is a brain on sugar, and on the right side is a brain on cocaine. Notice how the same areas light up?
And just like with other drugs you develop resistance, so you need more and more to feel the same thing. And when you don’t get your fix? All hell breaks loose.
I suggest you take the time to read this article “10 Similarities Between Sugar, Junk Food and Abusive Drugs“ and on part 2 of this post I will share a video by the University of California.
I hope by now you already understand the following: